Thursday, March 28, 2013

Healing Chronic Shoulder Pain


Healing Chronic Shoulder Pain

happy_senior_200.jpg
Chiropractic Care and Rehabilitation of Chronic Pain
Chronic injuries require specific rehabilitation and a long-term approach. Patience is required and it is important to recall that the problem has developed over the course of years and will not be fixed in a matter of weeks or months. Progress should be obtained in the short-term, but such situations usually require consistent, ongoing attention to achieve a long-term solution.
Performing the appropriate rehabilitative activities is critically important and chiropractic care can be of great assistance in getting the most out of your exercise program. Regular chiropractic care improves the mobility of your spinal column and removes nerve interference which may cause tight, inflamed muscles. The result is a body that is optimized for good health and full function. By enabling maximum spinal mobility and maximum function of your nerve system, regular chiropractic care helps maximize your body's ability to recover from chronic injury.
As we get older, years and decades of mechanical stress may lead to deterioration of joints, ligaments, and tendons. This degenerative process, commonly known as arthritis, primarily affects weight-bearing joints such as the hips and knees and those found in the lumbar spine. The shoulder, too, is especially prone to undergo arthritic changes owing to its extreme mobility. The extensive range of motion at the shoulder is built-in to the design of this structure, but the tradeoff is instability. The design of the shoulder sacrifices stability for mobility.

Degenerative disorders of the shoulder typically involve the rotator cuff. This broad, flat structure is composed of the muscle-tendon units of the four rotator cuff muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor. The thick covering of the rotator cuff surrounds the head of the arm bone and supports and strengthens the shoulder joint. But owing to the shoulder's inherent instability contrasted with its great mobility, the soft tissues of the rotator cuff undergo repetitive stress and strain. Ultimately, degenerative changes may occur, leading to the two prominent symptoms of pain and restricted range of motion.

An entire orthopedic sub-specialty focuses on treatment of chronic shoulder pain and includes long-term use of anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroid injections when medications do not provide sufficient relief, and eventually surgery to repair tears in the various rotator cuff tendons. "Revision" surgery is commonly performed when the benefits of prior surgery are exhausted.1

The good news is that in many cases, a more optimal approach is available, one that utilizes the body's own natural recuperative powers. For many people, chronic shoulder pain can be reduced and chronic loss of mobility can be improved by engaging in specific activities and performing specific rehabilitative exercises. The goals of rehabilitation are to increase shoulder range of motion and build up shoulder strength. As these goals are accomplished, the likely result is reduction of intensity and frequency of occurrence of shoulder pain.

Engaging in an overall strength training program is an important general approach to managing chronic shoulder pain.2,3 Strength training should be done progressively, starting with light weights and building up over time. Exercises specific to the shoulder include seated dumbbell or barbell presses, dumbbell or cable lateral raises, seated bent-over rows, and internal and external rotation exercises done with very light dumbbells on a flat bench. If one has experienced an acute shoulder injury, early rehabilitation should precede rehabilitative strength training. Early rehabilitation includes pendulum exercises and finger-walking up a wall in both forward-facing and side positions.

Your chiropractor is experienced in injury rehabilitation and will be able to help you design an effective flexibility and strengthening program for improved shoulder function.

1Keener JD: Revision rotator cuff repair. Clin Sports Med 31(4):713-725, 2012
2Lewis JS: A specific exercise program for patients with subacromial impingement syndrome can improve function and reduce the need for surgery. J Physiother 58(2):127, 2012
3Andersen LL, et al: Effectiveness of small daily amounts of progressive resistance training for frequent neck/shoulder pain: randomised controlled trial. Pain 152(2):440-446, 2011

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Forever Young


Forever Young

forever_young_200.jpg
Chiropractic Care and the Fountain of Youth
There is no fountain of youth, of course, but there does exist a fountain of youthfulness. Anyone can gain access to this fountain by following a consistent plan of healthy nutrition, regular vigorous exercise, and sufficient rest. When you add regular chiropractic care to your long-term program, all your activities provide a greater yield.
Chiropractic care works by optimizing the functioning of your spinal column. The spinal column houses and protects spinal nerves, branches of your central nerve system that carry messages to all the other parts of your body. When the various parts of your spine - the vertebrae - are working well together, messages can flow freely back and forth along the spinal nerves. By helping ensure this free flow of information, chiropractic care helps you get the most out of your nutrition, exercise, and other healthful activities.
Most of us like to think of ourselves as young: young in heart at least, if not actually young in years. But is it possible to stay "forever young" in terms of health and wellness? Of course, probably no one would want to remain forever young in terms of life experience. Our experiences give us character and contribute to our growth and development as persons.

As we get older, though, gaining skills and possibly wisdom, is it really necessary to suffer physical breakdowns along the way? Holding on to youthful bloom may not be feasible in all aspects, but there are a few critical tips and tricks to retain much of that glow and vigor as we get older. We may not, in reality, stay forever young, but we sure can give meaning to the notions that "50 is the new 30" and "60 is the new 40". Here are two key tips. They may seem obvious, but the power is in actually implementing these tips consistently over time.

Tip #1: Eat less. Each person has his or her own caloric balancing point beyond which extra food will be retained as fat. If your average daily calorie consumption is right around this critical value, all the energy in the food you eat will be used to support your physical functioning. But extra calories will not be burned up and this unused energy will be stored as fat. Over time, increasing fat stores frequently lead to chronic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. So with respect to long-term health, it's a very good idea to avoid overeating. Of course, we want to have fun, too, but that's what a "free food day" is for. If you eat within your caloric range on six days of the week, the seventh can be a "free day" when you can eat whatever you want. Such a system works very well for ongoing optimal weight management (which, of course, means ongoing health and well-being, contributing to our notion of "forever young").1

Tip #2: Exercise more. Did you ever see a gymnast, competitive swimmer, or professional dancer who didn't look absolutely terrific? These young men and women are in such good shape owing to the high volume of exercise they do every week. Do you know an older adult who was on a high school or college gymnastics team or was a professional dancer long ago? Isn't that person still really healthy and fit? Such long-term fitness results from a lifelong habit of exercise. The very good news is that even if you haven't exercised in many, many years, you can still derive benefit for years to come from starting to exercise, right now.2,3

You get fit by doing the work. Not all at once of course, but gradually, steadily, building up strength and endurance, starting right where you are. The secret is to begin. And after not too long a time, you'll find that your new habit of exercise is providing all kinds of surprising benefits, including deeper, more restful sleep and increased energy and exuberance. Not to mention weight loss and a slimmer waistline.

These two tips, eating less and exercising more, have been known for decades. But in order to reap the many benefits, what's required is to actually do these things. We can be forever young, relatively literally, by taking these simple actions on our own behalf.

1Campbell KL, et al: J Clin Oncol Reduced-Calorie Dietary Weight Loss, Exercise, and Sex Hormones in Postmenopausal Women: Randomized Controlled Trial. 2012 May 21 [Epub ahead of print] 
2Umpierre D: Physical activity advice only or structured exercise training and association with HbA1c levels in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 305(17):1790-1799, 2011
3Betof AS, et al: Effects and potential mechanisms of exercise training on cancer progression: A translational perspective. Brain Behav Immun 2012 May 17 [Epub ahead of print]

Meditation and Me


Meditation and Me

meditation-me_200_1.jpg
Chiropractic Care and Meditation
When you begin a meditation practice, it's very possible that your focus and concentration will be affected by various bodily aches and pains. After all, when is the last time you attempted to sit quietly for five minutes at a time? Many of us unconsciously hold tension in large muscle groups such as those surrounding the neck and shoulders. We may feel pain in these areas once we've eliminated our usual distractions and are attempting to sit quietly.
Chiropractic care can help address these aches and pains, regardless of location. By addressing the likely source of these problems, that is, mechanical stresses and strains in the spinal column, regular chiropractic care enables large muscle groups to relax and do the job they were designed to do. Regular chiropractic care helps muscle tightness and muscle tension to resolve, removing an uncomfortable source of distraction from your valuable meditation time and helping make your meditation practice fruitful and enjoyable.
For many of us, the practice of meditation seems like a totally foreign notion. In an era of full-time, morning-to-night distractions and distractibility, the concept of quietly sitting with nothing else to do seems impossibly ridiculous. Why would anyone do that, we ask, as we text message with one hand and channel surf with the other. 

Of course, this lack of ability to pay attention and focus for more than 15 seconds at a time is at the core of many of our health issues. Learning how to meditate directly addresses this problem, providing training in developing concentration skills. But meditation offers an abundance of additional benefits, many of great significance to our overall health and well-being.

Years of research have documented the profound benefits of meditation, including reductions in elevated blood pressure levels, stress reduction, pain management,1 and even rewiring of neurologic connections in the brain.2,3Thus, there are many reasons to begin meditation practice. The key question is how to get started.

Learning how to meditate is actually straightforward. There are many types of meditation practice. Some utilize a mantra, a silently repeated short, meaningless phrase. Others involve specific breathing methods. Others focus on the breath itself without utilizing specific instructions on how to breathe.

This latter method is that employed in Zen meditation. You sit comfortably in a quiet space, ideally facing a blank wall, situated approximately two feet from the wall. (Your specific situation may vary. The important point is to be in a quiet space without distractions of people or technology.) You focus on your breath, seeing your breath go up your spine in the back and then down your spine in the front. After observing one cycle of breathing, you silently count "one." Continue to observe your breathing cycle, adding to your count with each completed cycle. "Two." "Three." When you've completed ten cycles, go back to the numerical beginning and count "one" on the next cycle.

But if your mind wanders (as it inevitably will) and begins to think about whatever, when you eventually notice that you've lost your focus, go back to the beginning and count "one" again.

The "practice" part of meditation relates to practicing paying attention, paying attention to the breath. Your mind wanders, eventually you notice this, and you return to the breath. That's all there is. There is no requirement that you need to stay focused. A person is not a "bad meditator" when they find they are continually thinking of other things. The power is in the practice itself. By actually sitting down to meditate, by actually setting aside that time to be "still", you will derive unexpected benefits. And the more you practice, the more your practice becomes a habit, the more you will gain.
What is a recommended length for meditation sessions? There are no rules. The key is to begin, and then to continue. Starting with a five-minute session, twice a day, is a very good beginning. If you wish, you could build up to two 30-minute sessions per day. Again, your meditation practice is not a contest. What works for you will work for you.
1Marchand WR: Mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, and zen meditation for depression, anxiety, pain, and psychological distress. J Psychiatr Pract 18(4):233-252, 2012
2Hasenkamp W, Barsalou LW: Effects of meditation experience on functional connectivity of distributed brain networks. Front Hum Neurosci 6:38, 2012 [Epub 2012 Mar 1]
3Brewer JA, et al: Meditation experience is associated with differences in default mode network activity and connectivity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 108(50):20254-20259, 2011

Top Two Tips for Reaching Your Normal Weight


Top Two Tips for Reaching Your Normal Weight

normal_weight_200.jpg
Chiropractic Care and Lifelong Health 
Chiropractic care helps support all your health-related activities. Following a healthy food plan and making sure to eat at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day is one important step. Engaging in a regular program of vigorous exercise is a second critical step. A third key component of an overall health-and-wellness program is regular chiropractic care.
Regular chiropractic care helps you get the most out of all the other things you're doing. By helping reduce nerve interference, chiropractic care helps your body perform its tasks properly. For example, your digestive system works more efficiently and you're able to make better use of the good things you're eating. Your musculoskeletal system is better able to adapt to stresses and strains and your body builds lean muscle mass where it's needed. Regular chiropractic care helps your body do the things it needs to do to keep you healthy and well.
It's well-known that one-third of American adults are overweight and an additional one-third are obese.1 In addition, 17% of U.S. children and adolescents are obese.2 Worldwide statistics are similar. These facts are strongly associated with ongoing epidemics in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes may cause loss of vision, kidney problems, and loss of circulation in the legs and feet. Cardiovascular disease includes high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attacks. Being overweight or obese may cause diseases which require lifelong treatment. Personal action is needed to begin to restore good health, but it's important to understand the specific nature of the actions to take.

What is not required is a drastic reduction of body weight to some idealized norm of "thinness." It is not appropriate for people to attempt to force themselves to look like runway models. What does work is applying simple techniques and strategies to encourage a gradual loss of weight. Over time persons on such a plan will achieve a body weight that is normal for them. There are two key steps to reaching your normal weight.

The first step is to reduce your overall intake of calories by eating six small meals a day. If five small meals works best for your schedule and daily needs, that’s fine. The main point involves total calories. With six small meals, each one is about 300 calories - a little less for women and a little more for men who are taller and more heavily muscled. For men the daily calorie intake is between 1800 and 2100 calories. For women, the daily calorie intake is between 1700 and 1800 calories. By experimenting a bit, you’ll find your optimal calorie level that results in consistent weight loss. Make sure to combine complex carbohydrates and protein at each small meal. The numerous benefits of food combining include maintaining insulin levels in a normal range and improved cognitive/mental function.

For many people, this reduction in daily calories will have an immediate and dramatic impact. There may be real hunger pangs, and it will be important to remember that the next small meal is only a couple of hours away. The pounds you lose in the first couple of weeks will likely provide plenty of reinforcement to help you through the times when you are really hungry.

The next and simultaneous step is to begin a program of regular, vigorous exercise. Of course, if you haven't exercised in a long time you'll need to start slowly. Your goal is to build up to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise five times per week.3 Ideally you'll be doing both cardiovascular exercise and strength training, and in the process you'll build lean muscle mass. The result is an elevation in your basal metabolic rate which causes your body to burn fat even while you're resting!

As you follow these two health-promoting programs, you will notice that you're steadily and gradually losing weight. There will come a time, anywhere from 6 months to a year after you've begun your new lifestyle, when your weight loss will stop. For example, you'll notice you only lost half a pound over the previous week or two. Then you'll know that you've reached your "ideal" body weight. You've reached the weight that is normal for you. It is very likely that your new body mass index (a ratio between your height and weight) is now in the normal range or very close to the high end of normal. You've taken control of your health and your life, and the very good news is that you've built new habits that will last a lifetime.

1Ogden CL, et al: Prevalence of obesity in the United States, 2009-2010.  NCHS Data Brief No. 82. National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, January 2012
2Waters E, et al: Interventions for preventing obesity in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 7(12):CD001871, 2011
3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital signs: walking among adults - United States, 2005 and 2010. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep 61:595-601, 2012

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ketogenic Diet and Cancer Recovery


Ketogenic Diet and Cancer Recovery

To some, a ketogenic diet amounts to nothing less than a drug-free cancer treatment. The diet calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein.
The premise is that since cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, then cutting out carbs literally starves the cancer cells.
This type of diet, in which you replace carbs with moderate amounts of high quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fat. It’s simply a diet that will help optimize your weight and health overall, as eating this way will help you convert from carb burning mode to fat burning.

Thomas Seyfried, Ph.D, leader in genetics and neurochemistry profession at boston college, details of how to treat cancer nutritionally. Professor Seyfried discusses how, as a metabolic disorder involving the dysregulation of respiration, malignant brain cancer can be managed through changes in the metabolic environment.

“In contrast to normal neurons and glia, which transition to ketone bodies (beta-hydroxybutyrate) for respiratory energy when glucose levels are reduced, malignant brain tumors are mostly dependent on non-oxidative substrate level phosphorylation due to structural and functional abnormalities in mitochondria. Glucose and glutamine are major fuels for malignant cancer cells.
The transition from glucose to ketone bodies as an energy source is an ancestrally conserved adaptation to food deprivation that permits the survival of normal cells during extreme shifts in nutritional environment. Only those cells with a flexible genome, honed through millions of years of environmental forcing and variability selection, can transition from one energy state to another.
We propose a different approach to brain cancer management that exploits the metabolic flexibility of normal cells at the expense of the genetically defective and metabolically challenged. This evolutionary and metabolic approach to brain cancer management is supported from studies in orthotopic mouse brain tumor models and from case studies in patients. 

Calorie restriction and restricted ketogenic diets (R-KD), which reduce circulating glucose levels and elevate ketone levels, are anti-invasive, anti-angiogenic, and pro-apoptotic towards malignant brain cancer.”1

Current conventional cancer treatment typically involves chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is a cytotoxic poison, and radiation is devastating to the human body. More often than not, the treatment is what eventually kills the patient. This can no longer be accepted as “the best we can do.” As Dr. Seyfried says:

"The reason why we have so few people surviving is because of the standard of care. It has to be changed, if it's not changed, there will be no major progress. Period."


Dr. Dominic D'Agostino who, along with a team of researchers at the University of South Florida studies metabolic therapy. They found that when lab animals were fed a carb-free diet, they survived highly aggressive metastatic cancer better than those treated with chemotherapy.

“'We have dramatically increased survival with metabolic therapy,' [Dr. D’Agostino] said. 'So we think it's important to get this information out.' It's not just lab mice. Dr. D'Agostino has also seen similar success in people - lots of them. 'I've been in correspondence with a number of people,' he said. 'At least a dozen over the last year-and-a-half to two years, and all of them are still alive, despite the odds. So this is very encouraging.'”

How Does Ketogenic Diet Starve Cancer Cells?
All of your body’s cells are fueled by glucose. This includes cancer cells. However, cancer cells have one built-in fatal flaw – they do not have the metabolic flexibility of your regular cells and cannot adapt to use ketone bodies for fuel as all your other cells can.

So, when you alter your diet and become what’s known as “fat-adapted,” your body starts using fat for fuel rather than carbs. When you switch out the carbs for healthy fats, you starve the cancer out, as you’re no longer supplying the necessary fuel – glucose – for their growth.

"Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. But cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility.

Eliminating sugar/fructose and grains (ie carbohydrates) In order to be effective, you must first STOP doing that which is promoting cancer growth (or poor health in general), and then all the other preventive strategies have the chance to really have an impact.

You CAN Beat 'the System'...

Cancer is the second most lethal disease in the US after heart disease (not counting iatrogenic mortality, aka “death by medicine”). We all know that the war on cancer has been a dismal failure. Tragically, conventional wisdom is blind when it comes to cancer prevention and treatment and hundreds of thousands die prematurely every year as a result.

The ketogenic diet, which can be summarized as a high-fat, moderate-protein, no-grain-carb diet, has brought many back to health, even after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer, and given no hope of survival.

Severely limiting sugar/fructose, processed foods of all kinds, sweetened beverages (as well as diet versions), and replacing carbs with healthy fats and high quality protein can do what no medicine can – it can prevent disease from setting in, and may even be the U-turn you’re looking for if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or other chronic disease. Add to that appropriate sun exposure, sleep, effective stress management, and regular exercise, and you’ll be well ahead of the rest of the population.

Story at-a-glance

Many cancer patients have reportedly overcome the disease by adopting a ketogenic diet, which calls for eliminating carbohydrates, replacing them with healthy fats and protein. 

Animal studies have shown that mice fed a carb-free diet survived highly aggressive metastatic cancer even better than those treated with chemotherapy. 

Your normal cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. Cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility, so when you eliminate carbs, which turn into sugar, you effectively starve the cancer. 

Eating fat is NOT bad for your heart. Particularly beneficial fats include coconut oil, butter, organic pastured eggs, avocado and raw nuts. Most people need as much as 50-70 percent healthful fat in their diet to optimize health

Chiropractic Research about Non Musculoskeletal Conditions

FROM:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Jun);   28 (5):   294–302

Charlotte Leboeuf-Yde, DC, MPH, PhD, Eva N. Pedersen, MS, Peter Bryner, MChiroSc, David Cosman, DC, Ray Hayek, MChiroSc, PhD, William C. Meeker, DC, MPH, Junaid Shaik J, MTechChirog, Octavio Terrazas, DC, John Tucker, ME, PhD, Max Walsh, MSc, MAppSc


Back Research Center, Backcenter Funen, Denmark. chyd@shf.fyns-amt.dk


OBJECTIVE:   To replicate a previous study of nonmusculoskeletal responses to chiropractic intervention and to establish whether such responses are influenced by the country of study, chiropractors' attitudes, and information to patients, patients' demographic profiles, and treatment regimens. 

METHODS:   Information obtained through questionnaires by chiropractors and patients on return visit within 2 weeks of previous treatment from chiropractic practices in Canada, United States, Mexico, Hong-Kong, Japan, Australia, and South Africa. In all, 385 chiropractors collected valid data on 5607 patients. Spinal manipulation with or without additional therapy was the intervention provided by chiropractors. Outcome measures included self-reported improved nonmusculoskeletal reactions (allergy, asthma, breathing, circulation, digestion, hearing, heart function, ringing in the ears, sinus problems, urination, and others). 

RESULTS   : The results from the previous study were largely reproduced. Positive reactions were reported by 2% to 10% of all patients and by 3% to 27% of those who reported to have such problems. Most common were improved breathing (27%), digestion (26%), and circulation (21%). Some variables were identified that somewhat influenced the outcome: patients informed that such reactions may occur (odds ratio [OR] 1.5), treatment to the upper cervical spine (OR 1.4), treatment to lower thoracic spine (OR 1.3), and female sex (OR 1.3). However, these had a very small "explanatory" value (pseudo R2 3%). 

CONCLUSION:   A minority of patients with self-reported nonmusculoskeletal symptoms report definite improvement after chiropractic care, and very few report definite worsening. Future studies should use stringent criteria to investigate a possible treatment effect and concentrate on specific diagnostic subgroups such as digestive problems and tinnitus.

Chiropractic and Children Research Anaylsis


Van Breda et al [2found that there is a “definite correlation between chiropractic care and superior health.” In fact, this study “showed that children raised under chiropractic care are less prone to infectious processes such as otitis media and tonsillitis, and that their immune systems are better able to cope with allergens, such as pollen, weeds, grasses, etc. compared to children raised under allopathic care. There is also a significant decreased history of antibiotic use among the ‘Chiropractic’ children, indicating a lower susceptibility to bacterial infections, as a result of their greater immune system response.”

The authors found that:
  1. There is a “definite correlation between chiropractic care and superior health.”
  2. 69% of the chiropractic children never experienced otitis media, compared to 80% of medical children who did.
  3. There is a significant decreased history of antibiotic use among the chiropractic children, “indicating a lower susceptibility to bacterial infections as a result of greater immune system response.”

The following chart is quite revealing:

Review the Abstract:
Two hundred pediatricians and two hundred chiropractors that were selected were surveyed to determine what, if any, differences were to be found in the health status of their respective children as raised under the different health care models. With usable responses of 35% from the chiropractors and 36% from the pediatricians, analysis of the results indicates a definite correlation between chiropractic care and superior health. While the ‘medical’ children had a history of fewer childhood diseases, they also had received a considerably higher percentage of childhood immunizations (94%), as compared to the ‘chiropractic’ children (25%). The ‘chiropractic’ children showed a 69% otitis media free response, while the ‘medical’ children only had a 20% otitis media free response. Pediatricians were more likely to feel that every child would have been on a course of antibiotics at least once, and some suggested that almost 100% of children suffer from otitis media, whereas many chiropractors reported that their children had never been on antibiotics, and the occurrence of infectious diseases was significantly less among the latter sample. The results of the study confirm the benefits of the chiropractic model of health care on the health status of children.

http://www.chiro.org/wordpress/?p=14178

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Chiropractic


10 Things Most People Don’t Know About Chiropractic

1. Pain is the last symptom of dysfunction.
A patient’s back is often restricted or unstable for months or years before it presents as a problem and they show up in a chiropractor’s office. In addition, the absence of pain is not health. While medication may be needed, if you take a pill and the pain goes away, the dysfunction that caused it still persists. Muscle, ligament and joint injuries often occur as a result of long-term biomechanical dysfunction, sometimes from past injuries, making the area more susceptible to future injury.
2. Athletes use chiropractors to stay well and perform better, not just for the occasional injury.
Athletes choose chiropractors because we are movement specialists. Chiropractors were spotted all over the Olympic coverage last year, and top athletes such as Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Michael Phelps, Tom Brady, Evander Holyfield, and Arnold Schwarzenegger have all been proud patients of chiropractors. These days it’s far more common than not for major athletes and sports teams to keep chiropractors nearby to help prevent injuries, speed injury recovery, improve balance and coordination, and give them a greater competitive edge.
3. The body does not perform as a cluster of separate mechanisms, but rather a cascade of events that all starts with proper control by the nervous system.
The nerves that travel through and control every function of your body originate at the spinal cord and their transmission may be disrupted if the joints of the surrounding spinal column are not moving properly. This disruption in biomechanical integrity combined with altered physiological function is what chiropractors call a subluxation. Below is a chart that illustrates the relationship of the spinal nerves exiting the vertebra branching off to the various organ systems. You can see why it is not uncommon for a chiropractor to treat a patient with mid-back pain who also suffers from irritable bowel system, a patient with a subluxated sacrum who has been unsuccessfully trying to become pregnant, or a patient with an upper back fixation and acid reflux.
merick
4. Doctors don’t do the healing.
Sorry to disappoint you, but a chiropractor will never fix your back. What we are able to do is restore proper motion in the joints, which relieves tension on the nerves and muscles and allows your body to do the healing that it is inherently made to do. As chiropractors, we believe that the body is a perfect organism in its natural state, and all disease comes from a disruption in the body’s proper transmission of signals by the nerves which affects its ability to heal and to defend against disease-causing agents. We never treat disease. We assess to find which spinal levels are causing the disfunction, and we adjust it to restore proper nerve flow so the nervous system may work as efficiently and effectively as possible.
5. Chiropractic is for all ages.
Many seniors aren’t aware of the benefits of chiropractic care which can help them not only with pain relief, but also increase range of motion, balance and coordination, and decrease joint degeneration. There’s no patient too young for chiropractic either! Chiropractors check infants moments after birth for misalignments of the upper vertebrae that may occur as a result of the birth process. In addition to supporting overall health and well-being, parents also take their children to chiropractors to encourage healthy brain and nervous system development, to assist with colic, asthma, allergies, bed-wetting and sleeping problems, and to assist with behavioral disorders.
6. We know about more than your backbone!
This surprises many people who had no idea that chiropractors give advice on nutrition, fitness, ergonomics and lifestyle, screen for conditions unrelated to the musculoskeletal system and refer out to other practitioners when necessary. Chiropractors are also able to complete specialties in other areas such as pediatrics, sports rehabilitation, neurology, clinical nutrition, and addictions and compulsive disorders.
Other than particular specialties and the differences in learning to adjust and learning to prescribe medication, our training hours are not dissimilar from that of medical doctor. The following are the classroom hours for basic science requirements compiled and averaged following a review of curricula of 18 chiropractic schools and 22 medical schools.
DCMD
7. Successful chiropractic patients accept responsibility.
When somebody says that they tried chiropractic and it didn’t help, I cringe and get the feeling that they really missed the boat. Of course, there are cases with complicating factors, but I have heard this from people with straightforward chiropractic problems when it is very clear what has happened here. In most cases, one doesn’t acquire back pain over night, and it’s not going to go away over night. If a weak core from years of sitting at your desk is to blame for the additional stress on your joints, I would expect an adjustment to provide relief, but once the condition is no longer exacerbated, I would most definitely prescribe some exercises for you to do at home. I might also suggest we evaluate your nutrition if I suspect an inflammatory diet may be wiring you for pain. Sure, I’m always happy to adjust someone and make a living, but if you’ve been given homework and you don’t do it, I better not hear you blame chiropractic when you’re hurting again!
8. Chiropractic may help you get sick less.
Studies have indicated that adjustments consistently reduce the production of pro-inflammatory mediators associated with tissue damage and pain, and may also enhance the production of immunoregulatory complexes important for healthy immune system defense. As far back as the deadly flu pandemic of 1917-1918, chiropractors noticed that their patients seemed to have fewer fatalities than among the general population and were able to publish their work in an osteopathic journal since no scholarly journals were accepting chiropractic data. The estimated death rate among patients of conventional medical care in the U.S. was estimated at 5 to 6 percent while the fatality rate among influenza cases receiving spinal adjustments was estimated at 0.25%.
9. “I heard I’ll have to go forever” is a myth.
You may want to go to your chiropractor forever once you’ve started because you didn’t realize how great getting adjusted is, but your doctor won’t expect you to come for continuous care without symptoms. Generally, if you come in with pain, once you’ve been treated for your initial complaint, you’ll be scheduled for a few more appointments to make sure proper motion is being maintained, then it will be recommended you return occasionally to be checked just like you would go to the dentist to get checked for tartar buildup and cavities. Of course, many people still choose to see their chiropractor weekly or monthly for wellness or maintenance care.
10. Adjustments don’t hurt.
There is no bone snapping or warrior-style pulling heads off spinal columns! The neck adjustment some chiropractors use causes anticipation for many new patients, but is actually much more gentle than they imagined, and involves a quick, direct thrust to a specific spinal bone. The sound an adjustment makes is called a cavitation and is only space being created within the joint causing gasses to be released from the joint capsule, which creates the popping or cracking noise. Also, chiropractic adjustments will not wear out your joints, as some imagine because they have been warned not to “crack their knuckles” for this reason in the past. Adjustments, unlike “knuckle cracking” or having your friend stomp on you while you lay on the carpet, are applied specifically to improve the motion of your joints and limit the small dysfunctions that over time can lead to arthritis. Most people after an adjustment describe the feeling as being “lighter”, having greater ease in moving the body, and being able to stand up taller.
Resources:

Monday, March 4, 2013

Exercise Smarter Not Harder


Exercise Smarter Not Harder

exercise_smarter_200.jpg
Chiropractic Care and Smart Exercise 
Chiropractic care assists us on the path to smart exercise. We want to do our work, making gradual progress toward increased strength and cardiovascular fitness. But even if we're really doing smart exercise, injuries may happen. Chiropractic care helps prevent unexpected injury and helps us recover faster if an injury does occur.
Many training injuries occur owing to tight muscles and lack of flexibility. Regular chiropractic care helps restore flexibility to the joints of your spine and helps reduce tightness in the numerous muscles that attach to your spinal vertebras. The result is a spinal column that is more freely movable, one that can better withstand the physical requirements of exercise and is less susceptible to injury. Regular chiropractic care enables us to get the most out of our exercise program and achieve our goals of long-term health and well-being.
We all want to get the most out of the time we spend exercising, and it's natural to think that exercising harder is going to provide a bigger, faster payoff. But exercising harder without adequate preparation often leads to injury. Then there's recovery time, possibly the need for rehabilitation, and ultimately you're back at the beginning in terms of fitness, strength, and endurance. Injuries are to be avoided, if at all possible. The best way to avoid injury is to exercise smarter. Exercising smarter is also the best way to achieve continual, progressive gains in fitness, health, and well-being.
Exercising smarter means doing what you're capable of doing, and then doing a little bit more. For example, if you're a runner and typically run three miles a day, three times a week, it wouldn't be smart to do an eight-mile run the next time you go out. The likely outcome would be a strained muscle, shin splints, or worse. If you lift weights and typically bench press 100 pounds, it wouldn't be smart to find out what it feels like to bench press 150 pounds. What it could feel like is a back, neck, or shoulder injury. In either scenario, the price paid for attempting to train "harder" is at least two weeks of down time, possibly much longer, while you recover from your injury. Of course, we've all made mistakes and sometimes training injuries just happen, but tempting fate by doing too much is not, in fact, "smart."
The goal with any type of exercise is to progress gradually over time.1 For example, if you're 60 years old and haven't exercised for many years, a walking program is a good way to begin. On your first day, walk at a comfortable, steady pace for 10 minutes. That may not feel like much, but you will be increasing your total time over the next four to six weeks. The next day, add a couple of minutes. As long as you're continuing to feel good, add a couple of minutes on every second day or so, building up consistently to a total of 30 minutes per day. At this point, you're walking 30 minutes per day, five times per week. Next, every second day or so, increase your pace by a bit.
Don't increase your pace if you feel uncomfortable or feel as if you're working too hard. Be in tune with what you're doing. After four to six weeks of gradually increasing your pace, you'll probably be able to walk 30 minutes per day, five days a week, at a nice brisk pace.2 You may also notice that you've lost some weight,3 you feel more flexible, you're standing more upright, your skin has a nice, healthy glow, and you're sleeping more soundly and more restfully.
Use the same gradual approach with strength training. Start with lighter weights, not heavier weights, than you think you can use. With lighter weights, you can build up your strength over time. With weights that are too heavy, there's always the danger of incurring an injury that will set you back and interfere with your training. Exercising smarter leads to consistent gains in strength, muscle mass, ability to do physical work, and overall health.

It's natural to want to exercise harder. But exercising smarter is the way to go for long-term benefit without the danger of time-wasting injuries. Exercising smarter is the effective way to maximize the value of our investment in physical fitness.

1Braham R, et al: Can we teach moderate intensity activity? Adult perception of moderate intensity walking. J Sci Med Sport 15(4):322-326, 2012
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital signs: walking among adults - United States, 2005 and 2010. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep 61:595-601, 2012
3Exercise training and impaired glucose tolerance in obese humans. McNeilly AM, et al: J Sports Sci 30(8):725-732, 2012